GHC-Marietta has grown dramatically since the college opened a site on the campus of Southern Polytechnic State University. Its quarters were ample for the need in 2005 when the site first opened. Now, however, GHC-Marietta boasts an enrollment of more than 1,000. It eventually outgrew quarters allocated to it by Southern Poly.
That’s why the two institutions have agreed to extend their collaborative partnership. The collaboration benefits both. GHC students can experience a more traditional campus that offers residence and dining halls while participating in the multitude of student organizations on the SPSU campus. SPSU benefits from the infusion of additional students with diverse interests that GHC students bring to the campus. In addition, students who complete a minimum of 30 hours with Georgia Highlands may transfer seamlessly into SPSU’s academic programs. Based on the 2011 SPSU Fact Book, GHC provides the second highest number of system transfer students to SPS U.
Dr. Lisa A. Rossbacher, president of SPSU, welcomes the continued collaboration. “This partnership is a true success story in the University System of Georgia. By working together, we are enriching the academic experience for students, expanding the classes available to them, and making the most effective use of facilities. This alliance of Georgia Highlands and Southern Polytechnic benefits all our students.”
Dr. Renva Watterson, interim president at GHC, believes such collaborative arrangements among University System of Georgia institutions strengthen the system by offering a greater variety of options to students. “Southern Poly and its staff have been very welcoming and cooperative to everyone at Georgia Highlands. They have been a very gracious host. Our students enjoy the resources and campus life of a premier state university, while maintaining the benefits of a small college.”
As part of the continuing collaboration, Southern Poly has identified additional space to support GHC’s evolving needs.
Some of the previous quarters will be reallocated back to SPSU, but GHC is also gaining three new classrooms. Until now, GHC has met student needs in six classrooms and one science lab. The expansion will allow for nine classrooms, a mini computer/testing lab and one science lab, and it provides greater privacy for critical services like advising and counseling.
Kirk Nooks, campus dean for the Marietta campus, says the faculty and staff are thrilled to be in Norton. “We just have a great faculty and staff roster here in Marietta,” he said. “Despite space constraints, everyone just got on with it, so I’m particularly happy to see them in quarters that let them spread out a bit. SPSU has been very gracious in working to accommodate us, and I couldn’t be happier with the partnership.”